Ontario Provincial Parks are yours to discover. Ontario Parks, an organization within the Ministry of Natural Resources, manages and operates the provincial parks system. Its goal is to ensure our provincial parks protect significant natural, cultural and recreational environments, while providing opportunities for visitors to participate in recreational activities. There are a total of seven provincial parks and here we will discuss the best five of those which are worth visiting in your next trip to Ontario.
Before we proceed it is important to note that Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada.
Fairbanks Provincial Park – 696 Park Road off Regional Road 4, Worthington
Fairbanks sits on the Sudbury Nickel Irruptive, an unusual geological formation that scientist believe may have appeared after a meteorite struck the earth millions of years ago. An interesting feature in the park is the Fairbanks fault – a fracture in the earth’s crust visible from a hiking trail.
There are 160 campsites each with a picnic table, fireplace and nearby amenities. Also available are 40 electrical sites. Park activities include swimming, picnicing, hiking, boating, and fishing.
The park is located off Highway 17, about 55 kilometres west of Sudbury.
Grundy Provincial Park – Highway 522, near Britt
This park is located about 80 kilometres south of Sudbury at the junction of Highway 69 and 522. Deer and moose are common in the park and smaller mammals such as muskrat, raccoon, mink, fox and beaver can often be spotted. More than 160 species of birds have been identified near Grundy Lake, especially in the marsh areas.
A major destination for campers, there are 420 campsites, 108 with electricity, close to several different lakes. Each site has a picnic table and firepit, and is conveniently located near vault toilets and drinking water taps.
The park offers good swimming and fishing, and has three well-marked trails for hiking and nature walks.
Halfway Lake Provincial Park – Highway 144, 95 kilometres north of Sudbury
More than 10,000 years ago, a glacier covered the area that is now the park. Park forests are dominated by a few giant white pines that have survived logging and forest fires over the years. The most common tree in the park is the jack pine.
There are 221 campsites (including 120 electrical sites) in two campgrounds on the north shore of Halfway Lake, plus about 50 tenting sites in other parts of the park that are accessible by foot or canoe. Some of the sites can accommodate large trailers. Four trails, ranging in length from an easy four kilometres to a strenuous 30 kilometres, wind through the rugged Canadian Shield terrain.
Travel 95 kilometres north of Sudbury on Highway 144, and go north of Cartier.
Windy Lake Provincial Park – Highway 144, Levack
Windy Lake is one of the most popular recreation areas in the Sudbury area for swimming, boating, hiking and fishing. The park’s two beaches total more than 1,500 metres of sandy area. Sailing, motorboating, windsurfing, waterskiing and canoeing are all popular activities
The campground has 92 campsites, 53 with electricity. All campsites are secluded and large. Flush toilets, showers, laundry facilities and drinking water are easily accessible.
Windy Lake is located on Highway 144, about 60 kilometres northwest of downtown Sudbury.